America's Smartest Girl

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portland, oregon
America's Smartest Girl, Nicole Georges, channels her powers for good as she drums up answers to the world's most complicated questions.

Romance, Career, Health, Pets, Finance. Send questions to Nicole via twitter (@nicolejgeorges) or addressed to her via No suicidal inquiries. Please limit all questions to 150 words or less.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hi Nicole,

I dated a pretty cool chick, who's a big part of a particular art/music/performance scene in (Big City Where Everyone Knows Everyone Anyway). It went really well, but one morning in early September she broke up with me out of the blue, with no reasons given or warning signs. I was devastated, but told her I respected her decision and we've cut all contact.

Thing is, I'm still in love with the art/music/performance scene that she had introduced me to (and had been a fan of the particular genre for years--it's one of the things we bonded over), and I miss going to shows. When, if ever, is it appropriate for me to start going out in that scene again?

Thanks ever so!


Hi, Not-A-Creeper.
First of all, It seems from your letter that you're very sane & you've stopped going to these shows. I'm glad!

It takes the bigger person to take the high road, and the high road is staying home and watching 30 Rock, hanging out elsewhere, or having one-on-one times with friends for a while.

Sometimes the drama-magnets among us try to claim It's Not Fair and
they Should Be Able To Go Where They Want (after a breakup),
only to then cry to their friends or raise a ruckus after seeing their
Ex with another person, or even alive.

But on to your problem!

Depending on the severity of the breakup & accompanying feelings/awkwardness,
I would wait 2-3 months to go out again.

And even then- I would either go to shows where she may not be (This girl can't be everywhere all the time), or choose wisely.

Like, make sure the show is worth it before you leave the house.
Is it a hit-or-miss dance night that happens on a regular basis? Stay home.
Does this band play regularly? Can you see them with ease another time? See 'em later!
Is someone coming on tour in a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Do It! Have Fun!

When you finally leave the house, go with a posse! Get some exercise so you're not all pent up, relax a little (with deep breathing or what-have-you) so when you see her, you feel groovy.

Then be cordial, attempt small-talk, and chill out on the other side of the room with your friends.

I wonder if inviting her to some giant event would help ease the tension.
Not as a one on one date, but as one person you're inviting to something where you've invited a lot of people.
Like if you hosted a giant party or art reception and invited her to come in a very polite way, just so she knows the olive branch is there
(but it's not a sexy, desperate olive branch).
Then when you see her you'll have something to talk about
"Hey, How Was that party, sorry I couldn't make it..."
"Oh, it was great! I won the limbo contest!"
"Oh man, I forgot how good you were at Limbo!"

It sounds like you handled the break up with grace. I trust that you can handle these social interactions the same way.

Dear Nicole,
I'm poor. I want to make money, and I already have a
job, but that's just barely paying the bills. How do I make some loot
without selling myself on the streets??

Well there goes my first response.

Selling yourself on the streets is underrated.

If you want to sell yourself at home, I suggest the lucrative field of phone sex, where you can make $18 an hour to "ooh" and "ahhh" while you watch t.v. with the captions on.
It's a ground floor way into the lucrative adult industry, and all without ever having to see someone ejaculate!

If that's not your vibe, you'd better start honing another talent.

Are you good at thrifting or fixing things up? Sell things on Etsy or to consignment shops!
Ask your friends if they need help with odd jobs, heavy lifting, house painting, cleaning, etc. Put your vibes out there, let people know, and they will respond.

When I needed extra money last year, I posted some ads on Mama message boards and started babysitting.

If you really want money , I would look around and see if any call centers are in your area, and work a night job.

Have I worked the 11p.m. to 4 a.m. shift at the Disney Catalog ?
Yes I have.

Other ideas:

Lemonade stand, everlasting yard sale, dog walking, pet sitting, chicken sitting, coop cleaning, tabling with your crafts at shows, entering karaoke contests.

dear nicole,
i have an amazing dear-to-me sweetie, and we're in a fulfilling and healthy open relationship.
i also have a really good friend that i'd like to make out with again, but am hesitant.
not sure why.
just a vibe, even though there's clear communication on all sides, and permission/encouragement from my sweetie.
underneath i feel a sense that yes, while it's totally fine, it would disappoint my sweetie in some way.
i've asked a dozen times if there are any issues to discuss and always get reassurance, but when there are in-person encounters with the three of us i see a bit of something in my sweetie's eyes that make me want to run over, give her a big hug, and tell her it's not worth it if she's really not okay.

do i believe her and make out, or should i ask a thirteenth time just to be sure?

reading into things

Hi reading into things,

Is it worth it?
If the amount of processing and pre-guilt that has already happened in a sign of what's to come, I would choose someone else to make out with who's less loaded.

Perhaps the fact that you're returning to this person makes your partner feel unstable.
Perhaps the friendship is the problem.
Maybe they feel weird because they know you'll be spending lots of time connecting with this person (as friends) when you're not making out, and that's threatening. Or they know making strict boundaries with the person (if things go wrong) is off the table.

Perhaps it makes YOU feel unstable & you're projecting onto your partner.

Who knows.
I'm just making blind stabs.
The bottom line is:
Is it worth the processing time?

Just thinking about your situation gives me the makings of an anxiety attack, and so I say no.
But that's just me.

Good Luck!
And may the Poly be with you.

Hey there!
OK so my question is...
I have a friend who is now currently making music.
She just learned how to play some basic guitar, bought a fancy ProTools thing for her computer, etc.
She now is obsessed with playing me her music.
I think it's great that she's learned a new skill and blah blah, but I really hate her music. The lyrics are terrible and trite, trying to be funny at times and failing miserably...the ONE time I even offered a slightly not-so-good reaction, she got really mad and it was a whole huge ordeal.

I could deal if this was like a once a month thing, but lately it's been every time we see each other (about once a week) the bulk of the time is spent with her playing her music for me and then looking at me for my reaction.

How do I deal with this? I really hate her music, but don't quite want to hurt her feelings. Thank you!

Hi There.
Good question, and How Horrible for you!
I once had a roommate who would corner me and play me his romantic acoustic guitar songs ("This one's inspired by Shakespeare") for 10-15 minutes a stretch,
I felt like an insecure dog, looking away and trying to break his gaze, all the while attempting to figure out what sort of face I was supposed to be making.

I'm going to break my advice for you into two parts.

1. The Music:

You're not going to LIE, per se, but you are going to avoid giving her a critical review.
Maintain courtesy & respect, and employ your cleverness to think of a way to respond.
"It's very You",
"You're very prolific lately. It's nice to see you so excited." ,
"Your songs have a really cohesive sound",
or pick a part you like
"Nice drum solo!".

Try to figure out a way to be her cheerleader without lying.
Because you like your friend and you want to keep her around. No one wants to hang out with someone who harshes their mellow.

Also, it's not like you have to put your name on the album (hopefully), and lots of people like bad music, so maybe she'll find a niche for herself.

2. Hanging Out:

Can you ask her to just make you a tape or something, so you don't have to sit there with a frozen smile the whole time?

She may not bite, so
You're going to have to meet out on the town for a while.

Movies, Art openings, out for drinks, and parties. If she tries to corner you into hanging out at home, tell her you're beating the wintertime blues by heading out on the town, or that you'd really like to show her this new place or great film!

Hopefully she'll find another friend to torture with her music, or will play a show and find a scene soon so you can go back indoors and be her normal friend again!

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